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TipTonguingandDorsalTonguing:EstablishmentofDefinitions

Tiptonguingisthetypeofarticulationthatismadebythetipofthetonguereleasingfroma
pointontheroofofthemouthorupperteeththatcreatesanarticulation.1Itissimilartosaying
thesyllablesTaorTee.Dorsaltonguing,ontheotherhand,isdonewiththetipofthe
tonguelightlypressedagainstthebackofthelower,frontteethandarticulatingwiththedorsum
2

(middle)ofthetongue. Sometimes,thistypeofarticulationisreferredtoasanchortonguing,
althoughmanyadvocatesofthisapproachdonotapproveoftheterm,asitimpliesthatthe
tongueisfirmortensedinsteadofrelaxedatthebackofthelowerteeth.Overthecourseofthis
paper,theopinionsofmanyofthebestknowntrumpetteachersarediscussed.Reasonsfor
preferringonemethodofarticulationovertheotherarealsodiscussed.
TipTonguingvs.DorsalTonguing
Standardtrumpetpedagogytypicallyrecognizesanddiscussesonlythetiptonguingmethodwith
beginningstudents.Manybanddirectorsandbrassteachersareunawareofthedichotomyof
articulationtypes,whichinturnleadstoagenerallackofknowledgeamongtrumpetstudents
aboutthisparticularissue.Whiletiptonguingisperhapsthemostcommonmethodof
articulating,itdoesnotworkwellforeveryone.
Therearemanywellknownperformerswhohavebeenknowntodorsaltongue,
includingRaymondMase(AmericanBrassQuintet),ArmandoGhitalla(BostonSymphony),
JensLindemann(CanadianBrass,soloist),TimothyMorrison(BostonSymphony),Manuel
Laureano(MinnesotaOrchestra),PeterBond(MetropolitanOpera),CharlesSchlueter(Boston
Symphony),RobertSullivan(NorthwesternUniversity),HerbertL.Clarke(SousaBand,cornet
1

DavidR.Hickman.TrumpetPedagogy:ACompendiumofModernTeachingTechniques.Chandler,AZ:Hickman
MusicEditions,2006,134.
2
Ibid.,29.

soloist),JulesLevy(cornetsoloist),andRolfSmedvig(EmpireBrass) .Inaddition,manylead
trumpetplayersusedorsaltonguingbecausethefrontofthetongueisgenerallyusedasan
upperregisteraidwhenpressedagainstthelowerfrontteeth.
AnatomicalPredispositionforaTonguingType
Thereareanatomicalconsiderationswhendiscussingthetwomajorarticulationtypes.Thebitof
tissue(afrenulum,picturedbelowinFigure1.4)connectingthebottomofthetonguetothefloor
ofthemouthissometimetooshortandrestrictivefrombirth,aconditionknownas
ankyloglossia.Thisconditionisnotuncommon,asbetween0.2%and2%ofinfantsarebornthis
5

way. Ifaphysiciandecidesthatitisworthcorrecting,afrenulectomymaybeperformedwithin
6

ashortperiodoftimeafterbirth. Thedegreeofmotiongrantedbythelengthofthefrenulum
7

certainlyaffectshowaperformernaturallyarticulateswhenlearningtoplaythetrumpet.

Figure1

Ibid.,137.
WebMD.LingualFrenulum.WebMD.AccessedMarch10,2014.
http://www.webmd.com/children/lingualfrenulum.
5
AnneSmith."TongueTie."StorkNet.AccessedOctober10,2013.
http://www.storknet.com/cubbies/breast/AStonguetied.htm.
6
JeffreyHull."TongueTie."Dr.Hull.AccessedOctober10,2013.
http://www.drhull.com/EncyMaster/T/tongue_tie.html.
7
Hickman,Ibid.,135.
4

InhisMusicEducatorsJournalarticlefrom2010,JasonDovel(ProfessorofTrumpetat
theUniversityofKentucky)commentsthattrumpeters[withtonguetie]maybeunabletobring
thetonguetotheintersectionoftheupperfrontteeth(incisors)andthehardpalate.8Regarding
solutionstothisissue,Dovelstates:
[...]Trumpetplayerscommonlylowertheirjawwhenproducingpitchesinthelower
register.Becausetheygenerallytongueattheintersectionofthetopteethandthehard
palate,trumpetplayerswithtonguetiewilllikelyhaveagreatdealofdifficultyraising
thetonguefromthisloweredjawpositiontotheroofofthemouth.Suchanindividual
hasavarietyofoptionsforcopingwithtonguetie,includingraisingthejawduring
articulationortonguinginanontraditionallocation.[...]Dorsaltonguing,mentioned
earlier,isoneexampleofanalternatetongueplacementforstudentswithankyloglossia.9

Dovellatergoesontoelaborateonhowtoteacharticulationtostudentsadaptingtotonguetie:
Manystudieshavedocumentedtheeffectsofankyloglossiaonspeech,andonepractical
wayofaddressingthetongueslimitedmobilityisthroughattentiontothestudents
speech.Forexample,insteadofprovidingelaborateinstructionsontheplacementofthe
tonguewithinthemouth,ateachercanfocusonthesyllablesinvolvedintheconceptual
aspectofarticulation.10

Althoughthisanatomicaldistinctiongivesaninterestinginsightintohowpeoplemaynaturally
teachthemselvesthedorsaltonguingmethodofarticulation,itdoesnotaccountforalladvocates
ofthismethod.
Manytrumpetplayersnaturallyusetiptonguinginthemiddleandlowregisters,while
utilizingdorsaltonguingforhighregisterarticulation.Playersthatusethiscombinationof
methodsclaimthattiptonguingallowsthemthecleararticulationtheylikeinthelowtomiddle
registers,whiledorsaltonguingallowsthemtomaintainthehightonguearchnecessaryfor
extendedhighregisterplaying.Manyplayersalsochoosetousedorsaltonguing,evenwhenthe
frenulumisnotrestrictingthetonguesrangeofmotion.Thischoicecansometimesbevery
8

JasonDovel,TeachingTongueTiedStudents.MusicEducatorsJournal96,no.4.2010,49.
Ibid.,50.
10
Ibid.
9

11

beneficial,andothertimesdisastrous,dependingontheparticularcase. Itisgenerallyaccepted
thatembouchureandtechniqueadjustmentsarebestmadeundertheclosesupervisionofa
qualifiedprivateinstructor.
JeanBaptistArban
Frenchcornetistofworldwidefame,JeanBaptistArban(18251889),hadthistosayin
referencetotonguing:
Thisshouldbekeptinmindbeforeplacingthemouthpieceonthelipsthetongueought
tobeplacedagainsttheteethoftheupperjawinsuchawaythatthemouthis
hermeticallysealed.Asthetonguerecedes,thecolumnofairwhichwaspressingagainst
12
itispushedviolentlyintothemouthpiececausingthesound.

Atfirstglance,thisinformationdoesnotseemtogiveanyinsightastowhichtypeoftonguing
Arbanadvocated.Uponacloserlookhowever,onecanseethathereferstothetongue
recedingawayfromtheteethoftheupperjaw,whichmayimplythatheisindeedreferringto
tiptonguing.Hisuseofthetukuconsonantvowelcombinationtoexplaindoubletonguing
13

mayalsopotentiallyindicatehisadvocationandusageoftiptonguing.
ClaudeGordon:KModifiedTonguing
NoteveryoneagreeswiththepreviouslymentionedinterpretationofArbansmethod.Theeditor
ofapopularArbanbookedition,ClaudeGordon(19161996)insertsinfootnotesmany
correctionsandexplanationsofwhathebelievesArbanoriginallymeant.Theseinterpretations
arebasedonhislongtimestatusasClarkesstudentandprotg.Whendiscussingthetongueas
oneofhissevenbasicitemsofplaying,Gordongoesintofinerdetailabouttheconceptofwhat
heconsiderstobecorrecttonguing.Thisinvolvesthetipofthetonguelightlytouchingthe

11

DavidR.Hickman.InPersonInterviewbyJonathanKaplan.Tempe,AZ,October18,2013.
JeanBaptistArban.Arban'sCompleteConservatoryMethodforTrumpet.NewYork:CarlFischer,1982,7.
13
Ibid.,153.
12

lowerteeth,andusingtheareaofthesurfacebehindthetiptoarticulate(liketheksyllable,but
moreforwardonthetongue,hencethetermkmodified).14ExplainedbylongtimeGordon
pupil,JeffPurtle:
ClaudereferredtothisasKTongueModifiedorKTMbecauseitissimilartoK
tonguing,butmoreforwardonthetongue.Tonguinganyotherway(i.e.tipgoingupto
topteeth)willresultinadisruptionofthearchofthetongueinthefrontofthemouthand
moremovementofthetongue.Understandingthiswillhelptoanswerhowyoucanplay
perfectlyaccurateintheextremehighregister,withoutcrackednotes,andhowtosingle
15
tonguefaster.

Thistonguingconceptisseenasveryaccessiblebecauseitisexplainedasnotbeingvery
differentfromtypicalarticulation,withonlyslightadjustments.
HerbertL.Clarke
AdvocatesforthedorsaltonguingmethodoftenrefertothetextsofHerbertL.Clarke
(18671945),wherehedescribeshistonguingmethod:
Myownmethodoftonguingisratherunique.[...]Mytongueisneverrigidwhenplaying,
andrestsatthebottomofmymouth,theendpressedslightlyagainstthelowerteeth.I
thenproducethestaccato,bythecenterofthetonguestrikingagainsttheroofofthe
mouth.ThisIhavepracticedsoastoacquirearapidsingletonguingwithoutfatigue,nor
causingaclumsytone,andwhenunderfullcontrol,DoubleandTripleTonguingbecome
16
asimplematterbydiligentpractice,keepingtheminduponeacharticulation.

Clarkegoesontosay:

InmyElementaryStudies,FirstSeries,Istatethatthereisnosetruleforcornetplaying,
exceptbyplayingnaturallyconsequentlythereisnosetrulefortonguing.Eachplayer
mustdiscoverthemostnaturalandeasiestwayforhimself.Thereisanyamountof
17
experimentingnecessary,beforeonereallyfeelstheproperway.

JeromeCallet:Superchops

JeffPurtle."ClaudeGordon'sApproach."ITGYouth,accessedOctober13,2013.
http://itgyouth.trumpetguild.org/masterclass/31claudegordonsapproach.
15
Ibid.
16
HerbertL.Clarke.ClarkeStudies.Chandler,AZ:HickmanMusicEditions,2005,118.
17
Clarke,ClarkeStudies,119.
14

AnunusualmethodoftonguingisonebypedagogueandperformerJeromeCallet.Inhismethod
book,MasterSuperchops,hepresentsadistinctvariationontiptonguing,wherethetiptouches
thetoplipduringallarticulations.Calletstates:
Airflowshouldalwaysbestoppedbythetongue.Thetonguestopservestwoequally
importantfunctions.First,itsetsuptheairforeacharticulationandsecond,itstopsthe
airattheendofeachtone.Thesecondstepcorrectlysetsupthetongueforthenext
articulation.Thistechniqueisessentialforrapid,precise,intunearticulation.Ifyoulet
thetonguecomebackaftereveryarticulationyoulettoomuchairintothemouthpiece
18
cupandthetonegoesflataftereveryattack.

SomeofCalletsmostfamousstudentsareJamesT.Decker,CsabaKelemen,HerbertT.
Smith,OliverA.Theurillat,PierreThibaud,KeithUnderwood,andJohnR.Ware.19Other
methodsbyCalletincludeTrumpetYoga,BrassPowerandEndurance,andTrumpetSecrets:
TheSecretsoftheTongueControlledEmbouchure.20Otherteachersthatadvocatetiptonguing
21

onthetoplipincludeEdnaWhite,JeffSmiley,andE.C.Moore.
Conclusion
Anunderstandingofthetwomajortonguingstyles,tiptonguinganddorsaltonguing,isessential
foranybanddirectororbrasspedagogue.Anatomicalcharacteristicsneedtobeconsideredwhen
workingwithstudents,mostimportantlythelengthofthelingualfrenulum.Expertopinionsvary
widelyonthissubject,andneithertypecanbeconsideredbetterorworseintheusualsense.
Eachtypehasitsbenefits,butcertainlynothingdefinitiveenoughtomakeanyonetypebestfor
allperformers.

18

JeromeCallet."MasterSuperchopsEmbouchure."MasterSuperchops,accessedOctober12,2013.
http://www.superchops.com/pages/embrouchure.html.
19
DavidR.Hickman,MichelLaplace,andEdwardH.Tarr.TrumpetGreats:ABiographicalDictionary.Chandler,
AZ:HickmanMusicEditions,2013,133.
20
Ibid.
21
Hickman,TrumpetPedagogy:ACompendiumofModernTeachingTechniques,140.

Bibliography

Arban,JeanBaptist.Arban'sCompleteConservatoryMethodforTrumpet.NewYork:
CarlFischer,1982.

Callet,Jerome.MasterSuperchopsEmbouchure.MasterSuperchops.AccessedonOctober12,
2013.http://www.superchops.com/pages/embrouchure.html.

Clarke,HerbertL.ClarkeStudies.Chandler,AZ:HickmanMusicEditions,2005.

Dovel,Jason."TeachingTongueTiedStudents:AnkyloglossiaintheInstrumentalClassroom."
Music
EducatorsJournal96,no.4.2010:4952.

Gordon,Claude.SystematicApproachtoDailyPractice.NewYork:CarlFischer,1965.

Hickman,David.InPersonInterviewbyJonathanKaplan.October17,2013.

Hickman,DavidR.,MichelLaplace,andEdwardH.Tarr.TrumpetGreats:ABiographical
Dictionary.Chandler,AZ:HickmanMusicEditions,2013.

Hickman,David.TrumpetPedagogy:ACompendiumofModernTeachingTechniques.
Chandler,AZ:HickmanMusicEditions,2006.

Hull,Jeffrey."TongueTie."Dr.Hull.AccessedOctober10,2013.
http://www.drhull.com/EncyMaster/T/tongue_tie.html.

Purtle,Jeff."ClaudeGordon'sApproach."ITGYouth.AccessedOctober13,2013.
http://itgyouth.trumpetguild.org/masterclass/31claudegordonsapproach.

Smith,Anne."TongueTie."StorkNet.AccessedOctober10,2013.
http://www.storknet.com/cubbies/breast/AStonguetied.htm.

WebMD."LingualFrenulum."WebMD.AccessedMarch10,2014.
http://www.webmd.com/children/lingualfrenulum.